Listen to Ursula Price and LaToya Johnson of the New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice discuss advocacy, organizing, and community-led policy change for Black and Brown workers bearing the brunt of COVID-19 impacts in the Deep South.


“People are starting to see that we can’t entrust our lives and well-being to governmental actors unless we’re sitting at the table with them helping them to make decisions.”

New Orleans’ Black and Brown hourly and low-wage workers have kept the city afloat for decades, including fueling its recovery from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Yet they are again fighting for survival and safety amid the coronavirus and its economic fallout.

In conjunction with our latest COVID-19 fact sheet on Black and Brown workers in New Orleans, Ursula Price and LaToya Johnson of the New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice joined Insight’s Aisa Villarosa on the podcast for a frank discussion on what Black and Brown workers and communities are facing in New Orleans – and how they are fighting for a seat at the table to inform policy and practice.

Ursula is the Executive Director of the New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice (NOWCRJ), and is an accomplished criminal justice reform champion with deep roots in community organizing, including a focus on police accountability.

LaToya is Coordinator at the Workers’ Center, where her work includes addressing policies that affect Black and Brown workers throughout the state of Louisiana.

Touching on the rich but deeply inequitable history of “the Big Easy,” Ursula, LaToya, and Aisa discuss Hurricane Katrina, “COVID capitalism,” and Black and Brown-led policy reform as communities face deep-rooted structural health and economic challenges exacerbated by the current crisis.

They also discuss Insight’s partnership with NOWCRJ to survey New Orleans’ Black and Brown workers to support visibility and advocacy around workers’ rights, health, and economic well-being. Black and Latinx workers in the greater New Orleans area are invited to take the survey in English or Spanish to help inform this effort.

To listen to the full discussion, use the audio player above or subscribe to the Hidden Truths podcast on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, or Android. And if you like what you hear, leave a review for Hidden Truths on your favorite podcast platform.

Read the transcript here or download as a PDF.


To learn more about Ursula Price and LaToya Johnson’s work with the New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice, visit nowcrj.org.